New app aims to save food from trash, slash grocery bills

A new app aims to connect people with discounted food that would otherwise be headed for the landfill. The app Flashfood will find grocery stores, restaurants and catering companies that have surplus food to sell and connect them with a buyer.
Billions of dollars of food goes to waste in Canada every year. (CBC)

A new app aims to connect people with discounted food that would otherwise be headed for the landfill. 

The app Flashfood will pinpoint grocery stores, restaurants and catering companies near you that have surplus food to sell. The seller will post a picture of the food and an estimated expiry date. The buyer can pay for the food online and pick it up.

Flashfood founder Josh Domingues says his sister, who is a chef, became upset about throwing out thousands of dollars of food, while many people go hungry. Domingues was working in investments at the time, but soon quit his job to look into the issue of food waste.

He hopes the app will be a technological shortcut to deals on food for consumers, while giving vendors a chance to resell their food before it goes to waste.

"This is food that would otherwise be in the garbage. So this is literally lost profit, lost revenue."

The food will be offered at a minimum 50 per cent discount, and nothing will be sold after its best-before date. 

Flashfood Founder Matt Domingues hopes the new app will help business and consumers save money on food, and divert food from the landfill. (CBC)

Domingues says every year Canadians waste more than $30 billion in food, and even though charities exist to divert unwanted food to those who need it, it's often easier for companies to throw it away.

"This is a logistical issue more than anything else. If every food company wanted to donate their food, who picks it up?  Who drops it off? Who guarantees their safety and also, who pays for the bill?"

75 per cent of the payment goes to the seller, and a quarter of the payment goes to Flashfood.

"It's a win-win for everybody. It's a win for the users because they're buying food at a discount. It's a win for the food vendors because they're being able to resell food they would otherwise throw out, and it's a win for the environment."

Domingues says they are in talks with several big businesses as they prepare to launch the app next month.